Tips from Other Journals
Caregiver Stress in Partners of Cancer Patients
FREE PREVIEW Log in or buy this issue to read the full article. AAFP members and paid subscribers get free access to all articles. Subscribe now.
FREE PREVIEW Subscribe or buy this issue. AAFP members and paid subscribers get free access to all articles.
Am Fam Physician. 2000 Jan 1;61(1):192.
There are considerable individual variations in response to caregiver stress. With the increasing move of cancer treatment into the outpatient area, more responsibilities are being placed on caregivers. Most studies of caregiver issues have been cross-sectional and have not observed caregivers over an extended period of time. Nijboer and associates assessed the determinants of caregiving experiences in partners of cancer patients, in negative and positive areas.
A longitudinal database was collected on caregivers of patients with newly diagnosed colon cancer. The baseline measurement was taken as soon after surgery as possible and again at three and six months. The patient and caregiver were interviewed by a trained person using structured questionnaires, and they also completed a self-reporting questionnaire. Standardized measurements were performed on all patients and their caregivers.
There were 148 couples who completed the study. Negative caregiver experiences were associated with low income, living with only the patient in the household, a distressed relationship with the patient, a high level of patient dependency and a high level of caregiver task involvement. Caregivers with lower levels of education derived more self-esteem from the caregiver role. The quality of life scores for the caregivers did not change over time.
The mental health and well-being of caregivers is directly related to the way caregiving is perceived by the patient and less related to the intensity or amount of care provided to the patient. The authors conclude that physicians should keep caregivers informed and validate their needs. They also should identify caregivers who are at risk for stress and provide appropriate interventions.
Nijboer C, et al. Determinants of caregiving experiences and mental health of partners of cancer patients. Cancer. August 15, 1999;86:577–88.
Copyright © 2000 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact email@example.com for copyright questions and/or permission requests.
Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions